Last month at NAB, I was a "one-man band" - shooter, gaffer, interviewer, sound person, editor etc. I learned a lot about shooting events solo - enough to know that I had almost the right rig for the job.
If I ever do this again, I will need the Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 lens or some other fast autofocusing, low light glass. The focus motor on the old Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 just isn't fast or accurate enough (you'll see that in the interview at the bottom of the post with F&V North America Manager Connor Hartnett).
That said, my DIY rig worked well - especially the new ring light I bought for the show.
That light is the $199 F&V R-300, and it is easily the best lighting investment I've made in 35 years of video and moviemaking. I love my Stellar Ring Light - but the F&V is better - because it is dimmable, has easy-to-use magnetic clip on filters for both diffusion ($25) and tungsten color balance (included) - and it is powered by one $8.50 Sony FP-V550 battery (or by 12V input from an AC adapter if you want to plug it in).
The R-300 is smaller than the Diva and much more portable - both in the studio and in the field. Here it is on the front of my DIY rig, attached with the $40 F&V rail mount.
This setups gave me great light and lots of flexibility. It was also a lot more convenient than having an LED mounted on top of the camera. Several folks stopped me on the show floor to ask me about the R-300 and I sent them over to the F&V booth. Here's the interview with Connor, where he talks about the R-300, a new R-300 softbox as well as some of their other new products:
As usual, if anything here has helped you to make a buying decision, please shop using the links above or the display ads below. It won't cost you anything extra, and it will keep these blog posts coming. Thanks!